1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Russell

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 266.



Russell (1762-1788) was a native of Beaminster, Dorsetshire. He studied for the Church, but died young. After his death appeared Sonnets and Miscellaneous Poems, by the late Thomas Russel, Fellow of New College, Oxford, 1789. Southey speaks of him in exaggerated terms as "the best English sonnet-writer;" and Bishop Mant says, "there are no better sonnets in the English language than Russell's." Wordsworth also praised him. Of the sonnet, To Valcusa, H. F. Cary, in his Notices of Miscellaneous English Poets, says: "The whole of this is exquisite. Nothing can be more like Milton than the close of it."